Jump to content

ADquitter: Hi there. Quitting Escitalopram Cold Turkey ...


ADquitter

Recommended Posts

Hi there everybody. 

 

A little ancient history... i started feeling blue back when i was 15 (31 now) ... i didnt really like talking to anyone about my problems... so i hung in there until i finished college... around 24 years old (yeah i know... pretty stupid thing to do), got a job and immediately consulted a psychiatrist... i was prescribed with Citalopram and Clonazepam to help cope with the diagnosed social phobia and depression i had.

Things worked fine for years... then i felt like the medicine wasnt helping anymore... and the doctor switched me to Escitalopram and kept the Clonazepam in higher doses.

I didnt really feel much of a change, so one day i decided to quit, cold turkey... i do not recommend it, i felt like crap for about 2 months or so, but i got out.

After a couple of years, i got depressed again... took venlafaxine, but made me so sick that i had to lay down for and hour before i was able to live a normal life... doctor said it would get better, but i didnt, so i got back to escitalopram.

For some time i had been thinking about quitting again. Sex drive was crappy, unable to reach orgasms; i had no feelings, everything was so plain ...  

In my case, i started seeking my inner self, meditating, taking reiki, living in the present, and i have discovered the wonders of this hidden side of the brain. So, feeling much stronger, about 2 month ago i quit clonazepam, and then 35 days ago i quit Escitalopram.

Let me tell you, i do not recommend doing this unless youre feeling really strong and have developed techniques to calm down and lower your cortisol levels at will. It is possible, yes, as it possible to heal yourself from anything, but it takes time and efforts. It really pays off, and im just at the start of this journey.

Dont get me wrong, i still suffer the different symptoms... last time was the brain zaps that lasted a month, they suck; now i am handling the increased anxiety pretty well, but still cant get much sleep. Working on it too, no meds... 

 

I do not believe we should treat the withdrawal symptoms with other medicine... i strongly think you have to flush your system and meet your real forgotten self, hidden behind that ssri wall that would block the bad as much as the good, only letting plain events through.

 

Well, ive done it before, i think i can do it again... i am pretty sure i´ll be done with this in a month or so. Wish me luck!

 

Ps: i ve read this kind of posts before and the first impression is that i´m trying to state how cool i am and how easy this is. Not at all what im trying to say. This is indeed a very difficult task, its taken me months to prepare for this. Only bringing a spiritual approach to be able to deal with the symptoms until chemical balance is restablished. I recommend following the spiritual path til the end of our human body.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to our community ADquitter,  thank you for sharing your story.

 

I also stopped taking Escitalopram (lexapro), too fast, several years ago and I'm still in protracted withdrawal.  I don't want to scare you, and I hope that you will recover quickly, but what we often see here is people who come off their medications too fast and end up suffering for months, sometimes years.  Just because you recovered quickly the first time, there is no guarantee you will now.  Each time we start and stop drugs, it puts more stress on our delicate brain and nervous system, causing increasing imbalance to occur, along with more severe and longer lasting symptoms

 

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay....read more here:  http://survivinganti...-of-sa/?p=91582

 

Going CT from drugs is never a good idea.  We suggest reducing by no more than 10% of the current dose every 4 weeks, this reduces the risk of withdrawal symptoms arising.  Please read through this which will explain why:

  

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?  (The general philosophy of gradual tapering)

 

We also recommend using techniques like meditation, to help control symptoms, but nothing can speed up recovery, once your nervous system becomes destabilized,  that's why we often suggest reinstatement and then starting a proper slow, safe taper.

 

Reinstatement of a small amount of the drug can often work well to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.  According to medical knowledge, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.  Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of withdrawal symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work.  Here is some information about reinstatement to help you decide if its something you would like to try:

 

http://survivinganti...rawal-symptoms/

 

What symptoms are you having now?  Please let us know what you decide.

 

If you decide not to reinstate, our symptoms and self care section, may provide some useful ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover.  Especially read the topics pinned at the top.

 

You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want.  Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing.

 

Petu

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

Link to comment

Hi there Petu, thanks for your reply.

 

At this moment, the only symptom is insomnia. Its not a minor problem but im working it out.

Last time i got brain zaps the very second week i quit. Not nice ... but they lasted a couple of weeks and ceased.

I am actually planning on getting closer to the edge, when symptoms would become unbearable. Hopefully, thats not going to happen.

I start Tai Chi this week, to get some exercise, if not enough some cardio on top.

Not doing anything about food, i will take a look at the forums for that, i saw a lot of info there. Not interested in alleviating the symptoms, just need the proper fuel so my brain may recover faster.

I´ll keep you posted!

Link to comment
  • Member

Many people get ambushed when they attempt to do strenuous exercise while their body is in the throes of withdrawal and their autonomic nervous system is flailing around trying to right itself. Their symptoms (if they don't go through the roof) often increase. You don't want to trigger an extreme akasthisia so be careful. All you are experiencing now is insomnia. Be careful you don't lose the ability to sleep at all (happened to me but not until 1 year post CT).

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Yes, unfortunately people often do okay at first and then get hit three to nine months down the road with a delayed withdrawal syndrome that can be pretty agonizing. At that point it's too late to reinstate and people end up either in disabling prolonged withdrawal, or back on meds. 

 

It doesn't always happen that way, but there seems to be no way to know in advance, so we do not encourage people to take the chance. Of course we are crossing our fingers for you and hoping you are one of the lucky ones.

 

But I don't think anyone here is going to encourage you on the CT path. We've just seen so, so much suffering and so many ruined lives due to people making that gamble.

 

Please do keep us posted, though. The rare folks who do okay with a CT usually don't stick around and share their stories, so we don't end up seeing them, so we don't have that information/data to include when we are helping folks. Your experience will help us learn more that we can use to help more people, so it's a win for all.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

Link to comment

Yes, unfortunately people often do okay at first and then get hit three to nine months down the road with a delayed withdrawal syndrome that can be pretty agonizing. At that point it's too late to reinstate and people end up either in disabling prolonged withdrawal, or back on meds. 

 

It doesn't always happen that way, but there seems to be no way to know in advance, so we do not encourage people to take the chance. Of course we are crossing our fingers for you and hoping you are one of the lucky ones.

 

But I don't think anyone here is going to encourage you on the CT path. We've just seen so, so much suffering and so many ruined lives due to people making that gamble.

 

Please do keep us posted, though. The rare folks who do okay with a CT usually don't stick around and share their stories, so we don't end up seeing them, so we don't have that information/data to include when we are helping folks. Your experience will help us learn more that we can use to help more people, so it's a win for all.

Well, i did not know about that. I guess since it didnt happen last time, i wasnt counting on it.

Insomnia is due to increased anxiety, at least, that the way i feel it. Other than that, i do tend to be moving my legs all the time, but i ve done that since i was 12 or so.

It is quite disturbing to be anxious, i have found breathing exercises and sex helps a lot to calm down for a few hours, but then it comes back.

I´ll keep up a few more weeks, see where this is going, while i put together a plan b, just in case.

Thanks for being supportive!  I´ll keep on updating.

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, ADQuitter.

 

Please do consider reinstating at perhaps a few milligrams of escilatopram. How much were you taking?

 

This can reduce withdrawal symptoms.

 

Other than that, many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/
 

The magnesium may help the leg movements.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy